Introduction to timber construction

Introduction to timber construction

Date Published

15 August 2022

Document Type



Timber frame construction uses timber studs, rails and floors joists together with a structural sheathing board to form a structural frame that transmits all vertical and horizontal loads to the foundations. The exterior cladding is non-loadbearing, although it may contribute to wind resistance; it is used to assist in weatherproofing the building and to provide the desired external appearance.

Key Information

Platform frame is the timber frame construction method most commonly used in the UK.

Standardised wall panel height and floor joist depth maintains constant floor-to-floor dimendions.

A building’s potential for solar gain is determined by the orientation, building form and layout.

Case studies

Hopkins Architects has been involved in the design of new facilities at Norwich Cathedral for 14 years; the first phase of development, the Refectory (the subject of a TRADA Case Study in 2007) forms one side of the Cloisters and the second phase, the
now-completed Hostry, runs at right angles to it.

The architect Bernard Stilwell’s new library building in March, Cambridgeshire, has a deceptive simplicity achieved as the result of some complex thinking.